I was hoping for Men or Women. Girls or Boys. Even Bucks or Does, but all I saw was Dance and Paddle. The signs left me scratching my head, Dance or Paddle? There was no time to waste, I was already doing a pee dance, so I opted for paddle.
When I burst through the door, there in the middle of the floor, sat four ducks bobbing about in a child’s small blue wading pool. “Quack, quack, quack,” they said.
“Wack, wack! Quack, wack!”
I shook my head but charged toward the first stall. Three baby ducks paddled about in the toilet bowl. “What the hell?” I slammed open the door and ducked into stall number two. (See what I did there?) Thankfully it was empty, and in about ten seconds, so was my bladder.
When I flushed, four baby ducks popped to the surface. Where did they come from? “What the…?”
“Quack, wack,” they said.
Well, there was nothing to do but scoop them up and transfer them into the wading pool. I did the same for the three in the other toilet. “Home sweet home,” I said.
Soon the occupants of the pool were having a conversation about the new arrangement. “Quack, quack, quack. Wack, quack, quack. Hornk, quack, quack.” I imagined they were discussing the quality of the water and what an inconvenience it was to have seven new additions, albeit, seven very small additions.
I filled my palm with the neon industrial strength soap provided; it smelled of ChemX, I ran enough water to get myself a good lather going. Then I began to sing Happy Birthday as I washed.
A mallard fluttered onto the counter. His ebony eyes glinted in the fluorescent lighting, then he turned his gleaming green head sideways, once, twice. “Quack?”
“Wack, wack,” I replied. “It’s not really my birthday, but when I was a child my mother taught me that my hands weren’t really clean until I washed them for as long as the song lasted. Then I searched my brain for any duck trivia I might know. “I heard ducks have corkscrew-shaped penises,” I said.
“Quack,” he agreed.
As I finished up and dried my hands, the door burst open and a wild-eyed woman hurtled inside, she took two steps, then her foot froze in mid-step. Her mouth dropped open and she blinked.
I saw a shudder run through her body, nature called, so she turned and ran for a stall. Her pants flapped around her knees before she’d even had time to close the door. I heard a tinkle and a sigh of relief.
“Make sure you transfer the babies to the wading pool after you flush,” I called.
“Quack?” the mallard said. Obviously, a few more babies would not be welcome. I shrugged.
As I left the restroom, a woman stood scratching her head and reading the signs on the doors.
“There’s a free stall in this one,” I said, then moved past her and down the hall. I patted the tiny lump in my pocket. Oh boy, I thought. I’m already regretting this. What am I going to do once I get back to work? There’s no pool. Ah, but the janitor has an extra bucket.
“Quack,” said my pocket.
“You’re right, there’s an extra toilet bowl as well.”